Third Annual Awards Honor Outstanding Healthcare Environmental Services Professionals

The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE), a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA), and Kimberly-Clark Professional today announced the recipients of the third annual Heart of Healthcare Awards, honoring outstanding environmental services technicians who make a difference for patients and long-term care residents. Developed by AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional, the program recognizes and elevates the critical role that frontline environmental services technicians play in the healthcare environment. In fact, 83 percent of environmental service managers who have implemented the Heart of Healthcare program at their facility reported that it has enhanced the patient experience. More than 600 healthcare facilities participated in the program in 2013.

"On behalf of AHE, congratulations to all of the Heart of Healthcare honorees for their dedication to improving infection control and driving patient satisfaction," says Patti Costello, AHE executive director. "This year's nominations were exceptional once again. The continued engagement in this program proves there is growing appreciation for the vital role of environmental services technicians in healthcare and underscores the importance of cleaning and disinfecting best practices."

"We are proud to host the Heart of Healthcare Awards with the Association for the Healthcare Environment again this year, giving continued attention to these incredible environmental services professionals," says Richard Marriott, healthcare segment leader for Kimberly-Clark Professional. "We hope the achievements of these honorees inspire others to follow in their footsteps of creating a culture of quality patient safety and satisfaction practices, which is so critical to achieving exceptional patient outcomes."

Heart of Healthcare Awards Recipients
Nominations were submitted by managers, supervisors, co-workers and members of departments in hospitals and long-term care facilities. The AHE Recognition Committee reviewed all submissions and selected the winning applicants. 

First Place Awardee:
Marvin Dennis, environmental services support technician, Northside Hospital, Atlanta

As an environmental services support technician at Northside Hospital, Dennis' responsibilities include disinfecting patient rooms and high-touch objects. Throughout his years at the hospital, his performance has consistently exceeded the expectations of this role. Year-after-year, Dennis' floor ranks among the highest during room inspections. His dedication to his co-workers and patients is reflected in his eagerness to train new employees and work collaboratively with other departments to achieve excellent quality outcomes. These efforts have resulted in exceptional cleanliness scores on the federal government's patient satisfaction survey.

In addition to upholding infection prevention practices, he is often recognized for his contributions to patient care. While strolling the halls of the facility, it is not unusual to overhear Dennis singing to patients in an effort to comfort them. Patients admire his compassion and commitment, and he is consistently recognized in his patient review comments as an outstanding, enthusiastic and pleasant employee.

"Marvin goes above and beyond in every aspect of his job, from diligent and quality cleaning to his compassion for each and every patient," says Fiona Nemetz, system director of environmental services, safety and security at Northside Hospital. "Having been called a 'Customer Service Ambassador' by our nursing staff, he truly represents the mission of the Heart of Healthcare program by leading his peers through training and fostering cross-department collaboration-with a singular goal of helping prevent the spread of infection. As a cherished member of our team, I am thrilled his achievements are being recognized by AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional."  

Honorable Mention:
Kathy Humphres, housekeeping attendant, The Medical Center Franklin, Franklin, Ky.

A commitment to the safety and well-being of patients is key to the success of the housekeeping staff at The Medical Center Franklin. Humphres embodies this patient-centered commitment. Her extensive knowledge of infection prevention practices, attention to detail when developing and presenting training materials to co-workers and overall positive attitude have consistently resulted in excellent sanitation scores and improved patient satisfaction. 

The nomination process for the 2015 Heart of Healthcare Awards will open in late 2014 at Nominees do not need to be AHE members to be nominated for the award.

Heart of Healthcare Program Toolkit
AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional are working together to provide environmental services professionals with the necessary tools for their continued education, training and recognition to help their facilities support their goals of reducing infections.

The Heart of Healthcare Program education and recognition tools provide vital support for best practices in cleaning and disinfecting the environment. To address the ever changing hospital environment, AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional added new tools, which are available through the AHE website. Most can be customized to include the logo of the healthcare facility utilizing the materials. The following materials are included:
•Cleaning and disinfecting guide, in English and in Spanish
•In-room cleaning checklist
•Patient discharge card
•Employee recognition certificate
•Checklist with handy references to cleaning and disinfecting patient rooms
•Environmental services recognition posters for public display
•Room calling cards indicating a patient room has been cleaned

Source: Kimberly-Clark Corporation